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January 2, 2020: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

It happened yesterday afternoon, as we were out riding. There was a major drop in the temperature. It went in an hour’s time from around 2˚F to -5˚F. I wasn’t dressed for it, so I got chilled. I was wearing several layers, but nevertheless the cold seeped into my bones. It also didn’t help that I was wearing my rubber boots. What was I thinking? Most certainly it failed to cross my mind that it would get so cold so quickly.

We blanketed Tinni, who is older. And we blanketed Hrimmi because she has a thick coat and began to sweat while out on the ride. Both, I think, were most appreciative. And we became more vigilant about swapping out the water in the buckets, which began freezing fairly quickly.

Alys dressed for the weather
Alys dressed for the weather

This morning it was even a few degrees colder. But this time, I was more prepared. Prior to doing morning chores, I donned my Refrigirware suit and winter boots. And before going for an afternoon walk, I donned my Steger mukluks. It was because I was now dressed for the weather that today I stayed toasty warm.

Nevertheless, below O˚F temperatures are below O˚F temperatures. The blood thickens and the sponge-like lungs grow harder. And so, being out in such cold temperatures makes one feel like they’re moving in slow motion, as does the addition of more and heavier gear. Add to this, Pete hasn’t yet plowed, so trudging through snow adds to the sense that one is in a time warp.

The days are now growing longer, and this is a plus. I worked inside a bit longer than usual and still had time enough to walk all four horses. My chief complaint about life here isn’t the cold, but the fact that the lack of daylight messes up my schedule. I prefer to work inside until 1 p.m., and then spend the remaining daylight hours with the critters. I can’t do this when the sun sets at 4 p.m.

Admittedly, it was hard to get my ass in gear this afternoon because inside it was nice and warm. Our woodstove generates just the right amount of heat, so we are never uncomfortable. If I had my way, I’d opt for radiant heating under the tiles. This is because I can feel the cold swirling around my lower legs when its -10˚F and colder. And I have a hard time getting out of the shower and feeling the very cold tiles under foot.

The animals have varying degrees of sensitivity to the cold. Ryder isn’t keen on going for multiple outings. The chickens and goats (who live outside) would prefer that their environs be a heated barn. As for the horses – they (fortunately) come from northern stock, so they (even Tinni) seem impervious to below O˚F weather.

It never has stayed really cold for really long. This is why we call what’s occurring now a cold snap. I hear this term, and I envision taking the thermometer on the porch in hand and breaking it in half. Actually, we have two thermometers. We call the one down on the shed by the horses the optimistic thermometer because its temps indicate that it’s warmer than does the one up at the house.

I write this now, being well aware that in July, the temps may be in the 90s. I of course prefer this because there is no escaping hot weather, and furthermore, you can’t even dress for hot weather.

Next: 3. 1/3/20: Digging out of the Rubble

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